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The National Capital Has
Some Real Spooks, At Least So the Talcs Run White House and Capitol Both Honored. Copyngbt. lHiy, Tbe International Syndicate. CHBRB has never been in this country a dwelling so authentic ally hauntad as the old Octagon House, which still stands at the corner of Seventeenth street and New York ivenua. in the city of Washing ton. This was the mansion, considered rather magnificent in its day. which was occupied by President Madison and his wife. Dolly, as a temporary residence after the White House was burned by the British, in 1814. In deed, as it turned out, the fair Dolly was obliged to hold her court there lip to the end of her husband's term. Built by a man of wealth, one Col. Tayloe, it Is very curiously planned. lt shape being that of an octagon, while in the middle is a circular hall Into which all the rooms open. In the rear Is a large garden, shadowed by trees, with a brick building which formerly served as quarters for slaves. During the latter part ' of the last century the house fell into wretched disrepair, for the reason that nobody could be persuaded to occupy it. on account of the ghosts alleged to haunt it. There were strange and alarming noises, voices and even shrieks heard in the night. Ghostly faces were seen at the windows, by people passing by. and lights moving from window to window, though the dwelling was empty of human occupants, as ascertained time and ag-iin by bold policemen who ventured in to make search for supposed intruders. According to the stories told by Jenants who lived there for brief periods, until frightened away, the spectral phenomena seemed to have a special connection with the stairs winding around the circular hall. Thence appeared to come the mysteri es -.;r irt fVad nf nisrht: and there & s J itoVRtI h . lESSS-a.-:--.-.-: :riiri.. :.-:-iSi -:-:- C 1 First and Largest Apartment House Builders Vo.i, Fa mous Snake Dance Agricultural Fairs Popular. Copyright. Hilt. The tTR great Southwest, is a never riding" fund truCuon to of interest and in- i the traveler, who i vjcks kuo.vledpre of th ways of the early Aborigines of our country. In many places these Indians have advanced in the arts of our civiliza tion so as to farm as we farm, using the most improved agricultural imple ments for that purpose, yet, in many respects, they cling to the old customs of certuries ago and tribal dances and tribal ceremonies are maintained with all the trappings and ornaments of long ago. These dances are far more interesting and attractive when they depart from many of the harrow ing details which must have char acterized them in the olden days. Undoubtedly the Indians of the Southwest were the first apartment house builders, for as far back as the sixteenth century they lived in five stor adobe houses, many of which wel-e large enough to give apartments to the entire tribe each family having from one to five rooms. At Taos and Zuni, where the largest Pueblos exist, upwards of a thousand Indians reside at Taos in two apart ments and at Zuni in one. In the Hopi country there are sev eral; at Laguna there is one and at Aeoma a huge Pueblo is built on the top of a rock about four hundred feet above the Painted Desert. They are the most important of the many tribes who have these adobe apartment houses in Arizona and New Mexico.' . Name Spanish The Spanish name "Pueblo" was applied by the conquistadores to the native village communities, which they V -v c-sr4 111 vwk 111 . was particular mention of a cat. It was a very remarkable cat, inasmuch as nobody ever saw it, yet it had a way of reposing itself on the stairs, so that people tripped over it. Under such circumstances it would squall, but remained invisible. One of the ghost tales connected with the Octagon House had to do with a slave who was said to have been whipped to death in the attic, or j tortured to death in the cellar. It j was said that his groans and appeals i for mercy could be heard on occasions. in the night. But the main story was more definitely circumstantial. The Cat Tale During the earlier half of the nin teenth century (so the story went), the house was occupied by an elderly gentleman, who had a very pretty daughter. He wished her to marry a middle-aged friend of his own, a man of means; but she refused, declaring her intention to become the .wife of a young lawyer with whom she was in love. Bitter quarrels followed, and on an occasion whnn th dispute was re. 3- mm Iuteruatiouai Syntik-ate. found in the great Southwest, and 'he name haa tenaciously clung1 to them ever since. They are nominally Caih- clics, but they still cling to their ancient feasts and signs and our gov- ernment has very wisely not in terferred with these dances on cer tain days, which do no harm whatever and preserve the early tradition of the tribe. Agricultural Fairs For centuries they have made pot tery and baskets, each tribe having its own special style of pottery and weaves of basketry. . The men are great sheep raisers and are agricul turists in general going out from the Pueblos in: the early morning and re turning at night. The women usually make the pottery and baskets besides keeping- house and preparing food for the men. The Indian agents encour age all kinds of work and there is great rivalry among the tribes. For the past three or four years they have held agricultural fairs at the various Pueblos where cattle, vegetables and needle work, besides pottery and bas kets, are on exhibition and prizes are awarded. They are generally held at a time' of the year during, which a feast day occurs. This gives the In dians an opportunity to do- some of their special dances and is always sure to draw large crowds. The In dians come for many miles in the old prairie schooner wagon and camp along the way spending sometimes two weeks in coming and going. Last year pne was held at Laguna during the feast of St.-Joseph and the dances given on the plaza were unique and kept up during the entire afternoon newed, with violent language and threats on the father's part, she left the room and started upstairs. He pursued her, continuing the quarrel, and something that she said so angered him that he struck or pushed her, causing her to step on a pet cat which was at her skirts, so that she fell down the stairs and broke her neck. The house remained untenanted up to a few years ago. when it was con verted into office quarters for bur ness purposes, and put into thorough re pair throughout. This must have dis couraged the ghosts, for nothing has been heard of them since. The White House Tenants Where ghosts are concerned, the most effective means of exorcism seems to be substantial repairs. Thus in former days the attic of the White House was said to be haunted by the phantom of President William Henry Harrison, who died in the Executive Mansion. It was then a lumber room, used for the storage of discarded pieces of furniture, trunks and mis cellaneous junk consisting largely of gifts contributed by patriotic but mis guided citizens. All of this stuff was f " " ' eerie- 'i'-aws . , aiT:v 1 1 .iiS f two days. An altar was sei up m honor of fat. Joseph and decorated wiih greens. Certain men and women of the tribe dressed in costumes, danced up and down in front of the altar to the music of a torn Tom. each of the dances expressing thanks for a full harvest. Over in a little house near by were the displays of sewing, pot tery and basketry with the Indian agents as judges. Over at Taos St. Geronimo Day is always celebrated on September 30th with dances, races and games. Crowds of both Indians and whites come from far and near and the day Is like a picnic. Zuni Dances In some of the other tribes, such as the Zunis, there are rain dances during which the dancers are sup posed to pray for a cessation of the drought. The dancers come on the plaza groaning as If in great pain, and are almost naked with their bodies painted purple or blue. They wear brilliantly colored silk trousers and moccasins in which matrix tur quoise are embedded. Their neck and arms are covered with beads while over their faces are hideous masks. One is known as the Mud Head and his mask Is most uncanny resembling the head of a deformed wolf. He walks at the side of the dancers and beats a. rattle. Another man beats continuously on a curious shaped drum while the leader of the procession carries a tiny basket of sacred meal and sprinkles bits of it on each of the plazas. At the first sign of rain the dancing ceases. In the evening the people of the Pueblo gather all kinds of food together and the dancers throw It to" the Indians who gather on the housetops. Like the whites they are always present when something is to be given away and the entire Pitp-M thrown out when the house was re built In the reign of the Roosevelts. the space being converted into serv ants' quarters, and the specter has ceased to prowl. The White House, however, still lays claim to two other ghosts one of them that of a woman, wearing a cap of antique pattern and a garment re sembling a lace shawl. She is sup posed to be Abigail Adams, the first mistress of the mansion, who took up her residence there in the autumn of 1800. Not at midnight Is she seen (as is ordinarily customary with spooks), but just before daybreak, when she glides slowly along the wide hallwayi which extends lengthwise through the middle of the White House. She always moves from west to east. and. when she reaches the closed double doors that give entrance to the East Room, she passes through them as if they offered no obstacle, and vanishes. There are always watchmen on guard at night in the White House, and it is they who tell of the ghosts. The other one is the spectral simula crum of Abraham Lincoln, which ap pears to haunt the stairs that former ly led from the first floor to the Execu tive business offices over the East Room quarters which have been recon structed into bed rooms for guests. The martyred President is never seen elsewhere than on these stairs, and invariably he is going up. It Is impossible to mistake the tall, awk ward figure and shambling gait. When he reaches the top step, he looks around, smiles sadly, and disappears, ns if in a mist. turn out. A larse number ot melon rolls and corn boiled in the husk is thrown- to the people, who gather about the plaza. Zuni is by far the most interesting of all the Puebios. as these Indians have so many fra- I ternities and each one has a special j dance. It would take an entire oook to describe these dances which are interesting in many ways, but especial ly to the student in Indian history. The great Pueblo is surrounded by a fence made of sticks held together with hardened mud or adobe, but there are a number of entrances and the visitor is free to enter. The Zuni pueblo is 40 miles from Gallup and the trip can be made in an auto, and the visitor may spend the night with one of the white trad ers who lives just outside the reserva tion. There is a church on the plaza, but It seems to be deserted for al though there are missionaries nearby and a fine Indian school only four miles away one soon decides Fhat the Zunis are confirmed ' pagans except when it Is to their interests to appear Christians. The streets are filled with disreputable looking stray dogs who bark and snap at one with their needle-like teeth and give the visitor a decidedly uncomfortable time. This is not only true of Zuni but of all pueblos of the Southwest, and no res ervation is complete without its stray razor backed hogs, scrawny chickens, bob-eared donkeys and cross dogs. : A stiff club is useful where the stray dogs are concerned yid they will run away yelping at the sight of it. The entrance to the apartment is made by ladders and the effect of these from a distance is like a wilder ness of masts. The ladder is the only means of entering the home, and when the residents do not want v'sttnr fhev Van Ness Mansion A few hundred yards to the south west of the White House there stood only a few years ago the historic Van Ness mansion, formerly the home of Marcia. daughter of old Davy Burns, whose farm covered a large part of the land on which the City of Wash ington is now built. Burns sold his farm to the Govern ment, after a quarrel with Genera! Washington that has become histor ical. His daughter, a beautiful girl, chose from many suitors John P. Van Ness, a Congressman from New York; and it was she who. in 1S26. built the mansion. It cost $30,000. and was con sidered a marvel of luxury, the furni ture and even the mantlepieces being brought from Europe. Marcia died there six years later. During the latter half of the nine teenth century the house, unoccupied, fell into decay. It was given over to the bat. the owl. and the spider; and behind and beneath the bare walls and floors ran the iconoclastic rat. whose tooth, like that of time, devours all things soon or late. Naught re mained except a naked ruin, which, as one might guess, was reputed to be haunted. The ghost of the fair Mar cia. so people said, flitted about it at night, carrying a spectral candle in her hand. Statuary Hall The most famous of all haunted places in Washington, however, is the old chamber of the House of Repre sentatives at the Capitol. It is familiar enough to visiting strangers, being known in these days as Statuary Hall, because of the effigies of bygone states Mii2Z-J?Jfy. r-- -: " - torn simply pull up the ladder. ' Zuni Life The interior of the houses is enough to drive a sanitary expert in sane, for when the-"wr4ter entered one the family was at dinner, the food being set out on the iloor. There was a beef steak in the center and a half grown cat was helping herself to one end of it while the family looked on. Over in the "corner in the fireplace a woman was boiling bread in corn husks while in another place a young girl was grinding corn between stones. Outside the door a woman was win nowing meal and offering pottery for sale. The Zunis make excellent pot tery but as few visitors come to the pueblo they are compelled to sell it to the traders. They also make beads with a peculiar drill using coral, sea shells and matrix "turquoise. The in strument is a curious wooden affair with a sharp, nail at one end and is whirled in the hand like a drill. Cer tain of the Zunis are excellent silver smiths and make much of the silver jewelry, which . finds its way to the tourists . at . the big hotels along the Santa F One of . the curious things noticed are many eagles confined in odd look ing plaited cottonwocd cages, passing a miserable existence awaiting the time when they shall be sacrificed men there on permanent exhibition. Guides point out the brass star set in the floor to mark the location of the seat of John Quincy Adams, who (a member of Congress for ninefeen years after he relinquished the Presi dency) was suddenly taken ill there, and died in one of the rooms adjoining the chamber. But visitors are more interested in the weird acoustic effects, the slightest whisper uttered (for in stance) by a person standing on a cer tain stone being clearly audible to an other person standing on another stone clear across the hall. Imagine the same place in the gloom of night. The white marble statues of great men, ranged around the walls, seem to gesticulate with outstretched arms and to point with ghostly fingers. Strange echoes respond to the slight est sound. But this is by no means all. The footsteps of a person walking across the hall at night, when all about is silence, seem to be closely followed by other footfalls; and the latter, odd ly enough, appear to move Just a lit tle faster, as if on the point of over taking. The individual thus pursued instinctively looks around, but sees nothing. It is a very curious phe nomenon, and has never been satis factorily explained. One is at liberty to give credit or not to the statement of a member of the Capitol police, who made formal affidavit that, on a certain occasion. entering Statuary Hall at midnight, he beheld the entire House of Represen- tatives of 1S48 assembled as if for law-making purposes a phantom leg - with appropriate rites in order that their feathers may be used in the dec orations worn during the offering to the Gods. The Zunis have a number of secret organizations and the ceremonies held by these are rarely seen by the white man, in fact, it is said that human sacrifice and snake worship still exists. Zuni is so dirty and unsanitary that it is doubtful whether any visitors would care to risk their health by re maining among them long enough to learn all of their strange rites. Hopiland The pueblos of Hopiland are fre quently visited especially during the famous Snake Dance, which is one of the most sickening and horrible dances known. Its date is settled by the snake priests and the date given out about two weeks before- It lasts several days and begins with the hunt for the snakes which are purified (?) and put In a kiva until the great day. Great crowds attend these dances and are usually horrified when the dancers appear on the plaza with wriggling snakes In their mouths each followed by a man who tickles the snake with a feather to keep it from darting at the man's face. Once in a while a snake will wriggle from a dancer's mouth and a shiver runs through the crowd, but the snake gatherer is there t islative crew, presumably including Air- Adams and many OLher person ages familiarly known in history, but long dead. All, to a man, turned and looked at him as he came in a mys terious and ghostly light illuminating the scene but not one of them said a word. Perhaps the watchman had been drinking. But other members of the force on guard at the Capitol, when asked to speak about such matters, shake their heads and admit that they could tell of strange happenings if they were not afraid of dismissal. Mysterious footfalls are heard at night in other parts of the great build ing. On one occasion a watchman be came convinced that somebody was lurking on the premises for an un lawful purpose; he put on a pair of rubber overshoes, and. without a light, stole softly through the corridors. Time and again he got the footsteps cornered, but invariably they escaped him, and were presently heard in an other direction. The Senate Has Two Ghosts The Senate wing of the Capitol has two well-authenticated ghosts. One of them is that of an old white-haired negro named Osborne, who during his life time was employed to scrub the floors of the corridors, his work being done at night. He haunts the base ment, where the sound of his brush and pail, with "slosh" of spectral wa ter, is heard from dark corners, his phantom still pursuing apparently his old-time occupation. So thoroughly established is belief in this ghost that colored wrork people have commonly refused to undertake duty in the base ment before daylight. The other phantom is that of a tall, military-looking gentleman, unidenti fied, but dressed in a frock coat and wearing a long moustache and goatee. He is seen at night walking about the corridors, his hands clasped behind ; him, and with an aspect of extreme melancholy. Always he is pacing up j and down, and when approached he 1 vanishes like a magic lantern picture. ready to pick It up. The men grab the snakes from a bag and do cot know the kind they are getting. To be sure there are purification rites in the secret kivas the night before, and the dance is preceded by the drinking of an emetic by all of the Snake men and by violent vomiting over the side of the mesa after the dance is over. The white visitor is rather glad to get away, but he is always curious to know why the Hopis are never bitten. So far as known there has never been a man to suffer, consequently it is sup posed that they have an antidote, for there is positively no attempt to ex tricate the fangs or in any way to render the reptiles harmless. The United States Government some time aern refused to allow a tnnvin picture of this dance to be shown, but T this seems to have whetted the ap- f petite of the average traveler to view t the ceremony and the crowds became 1 larger, so it may be that this order will ft be rescinded this year. The Hopis are splendid basket mak ers and Nampeyo, the most famous maker of pottery, is of the Hopi tribe. Her pottery is by far the best burned and the most dainty in decoration and naturally brings the best prices. The Hopis also do excellent weaving, but their blankets do not compare . . with those of the Navajo, who are classed as a tribe of non-pueblo people There are any number of pueblo tribes scattered through the Southwest, and each and every one is worth a visit- The only difficulty is that they live many . miles from the railroad and one must travel over highways that could hard- . ly be called roads, according to the -Eastern standard as to what consti-'-. tutes a road. In almost any month of the year one may find ceremonies given in honor of the patron saint of the pueblo, and therefore glossed over with Christianity, but about as un christian as it is possible to make them. However, many of them may ' be looked upon as dramatic weird pageants with gorgeous coloring. These pueblo people are unlike any -others in the world and their manners and customs should interest the pexple of our land for it must be remem- I bered that these old tribes of the .. 1. Southwest are "the . original Ameri- cans." i!